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COLUMN: Why I wear headphones during election week on campus

From the soap box

staff writer

Published: Monday, February 24, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 00:02

Logan

Mikayla Kapp photo

Logan Jones

It turns out Monday was the wrong day to leave my headphones at home — It’s so much easier to ignore people when you have headphones.

Monday marked the beginning of USU student elections, as anyone who has tried walking undisturbed from the TSC to the library or the business building has surely noticed. Large campaign boards boasting flashy slogans line the walkways around campus advertise for student body positions nobody understands.

Those running for these various leadership offices stand nearby their campaign ads, or “A frames,” handing out flyers and pestering students for their votes every few feet in what seems like an unending gauntlet of irritation.

Headphones are my choice visual representation that I, in fact, am not interested in whatever these candidates are selling. I’m all for being involved in the community, and I believe in the democratic process, but these student leadership hopefuls fail to understand that what they’re involved in isn’t politics.

The vast popularity contest that is student elections has been overexaggerated by those in student government to appear like an opportunity for the average student’s voice to be heard. In reality, the voice of the average student is drowned out by the all the noise surrounding campus voting throughout election week.

It’s not as if once a particular candidate is elected, textbooks suddenly become affordable and all the ice cream is free. The changes instituted by student government are, at best, nice things for those few in charge to put on their resumes.

The sad truth of student leadership is that the benefits and monetary rewards for winning an elected position of presumed importance at USU vastly outweighs the power a candidate has to truly impact student life. It seems like the only ones who care about student politics are, predictably, the student politicians.

For better or worse, USU graduates will remember their alma mater’s fight song long after they remember the name of their student body president.

So some students avoid eye contact with them. They plot a roundabout course toward their classes in order to avoid the commotion emanating from the center of USU’s campus. Others use tried-and-true strategies to quickly move past the campaigning candidates, offering them obscure song lyrics or movie quotes as a way of quickly stifling any conversation.

Still, others somewhat unimaginatively claim to have “already voted” and wish to just be left alone.

I prefer headphones, keeping to myself as the hopeful candidates all around me listen only to the sound of their own voices.

Logan Jones is a sophomore majoring in journalism. Though he generally sticks to writing sports, he enjoys expressing his opinions on other topics as well. He hopes one day enough of his readers will petition Statesman editors to give him a regular column in the newspaper. Contact him at logantjones@aggiemail.usu.edu or tweet @Logantj

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